Strategic development sites consultation to start on 1 July
A 10-week public consultation on a number of strategic development sites in the Shropshire Council area will begin next Monday (1 July 2019). The consultation was agreed by the council’s Cabinet earlier this month.
The consultation responses will be used to inform the next stages of the Local Plan review with formal consultation on a full ‘pre-submission’ version of the revised Local Plan expected in spring 2020.
Shropshire Council then expects to formally submit the Local Plan, together with any formal objections, for examination by the Planning Inspectorate in June 2020.
Strategic sites are large sites of more than 25ha in size, which are not associated with meeting the growth needs of any particular settlement but which will contribute to achieving the aspirations of the Economic Growth Strategy for Shropshire.
The consultation document proposes that there is sufficient evidence and justification for Shropshire Council to give positive preference for the allocation through the ongoing Local Plan Review of strategic development sites at:
- The former Ironbridge Power Station, Buildwas;
- Clive Barracks at Tern Hill; and
- RAF Cosford.
At this stage proposals for a strategic employment site, housing and related community services north of Junction 3 of the M54 have not been supported as a preferred development site. It’s considered that further evidence and justification is required before determining whether this site could be identified as suitable in principle for development.
Instead, the consultation document seeks comments on:
a. The potential benefits of the proposed development;
b. The issues and impacts which might be generated; and
c. Ways in which these might be mitigated or addressed.
Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for and housing and strategic planning, said:
“The current Local Plan review is designed to help ensure that the Local Plan will remain the starting point and platform for planning decisions during the period to 2036. The council’s preferred sites to deliver Shropshire’s housing requirements were published for public consultation in October 2018. However, whilst these requirements can mainly be met from sites within existing settlements, a small number of larger mixed-use strategic sites are also being promoted in the county.
“These three strategic sites would generate new investment in employment, increasing the number but also the quality of jobs locally, and provide additional housing, improved infrastructure and local services.
“At this stage it is considered that further evidence and justification is required to enable the site at Junction 3 of the M54 to be preferred for development.
“However, we are consulting on all four options. If the Junction 3 proposal is proposed as a preferred option for development at the pre-submission draft stage of the plan preparation process, this would be subject to further consultation at that time.”
1. About the consultation:
- The consultation will run for 10 weeks from 1 July to 9 September 2019.
- Consultation documents will be made available on the Shropshire Council website – at www.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved – and paper copies will be provided at libraries and council offices in the main towns.
- A significant number of organisations and individuals who have already registered with the council will be notified directly of the publication of the consultation documents by email.
- Officers will continue to engage directly with individual parish councils and town councils during the consultation period to help them to explore the implications of the proposed approach in their local context.
- Electronic responses are encouraged, to reduce printing and distribution costs and to reduce the time spent collating and analysing paper responses.
2. Junction 3 of the M54
Any release of land near Junction 3 of the M54 would be to help deliver cross-boundary needs from the Black Country. The alternative options available to meet this need, including through Green Belt release within the Black Country and nearby authorities, are currently being investigated by the Black Country Authorities, who will publish their findings as part of the evidence base for the review of the Black Country Core Strategy. The findings of these studies will provide essential evidence to inform any decision about whether the release of land at Junction 3 from the Green Belt is justifiable.